Opal Siren

My life in dreams

2013: A year of dislocation


I cannot believe the holidays are here and the year is almost over. What a year it has been!

As I am writing, my husband and I are preparing for his shoulder surgery. The holiday spirit is simply not here. We are worried but hopeful that it will all turn out for the best.

My husband and I are not only dealing with the trauma of his shoulder, but also the trauma of the absence of my mother-in-law. There is simply not a day we do not think about her and miss her terribly. Right now, I would probably be calling her and asking her how I can help her son get through this surgery.

My husband’s shoulder has dislocated numerous times this year. Along with those painful dislocations, we both feel the pain, separation and sadness in our hearts as a result of our grief. It has been an adjustment to live life without his mother and now we have to adjust to the challenges of shoulder surgery. We have also had to adjust to his new career as a Chief Petty Officer in the U.S. Navy. I am happy to say that my husband is doing very well in his new role as a Chief and he has been able to establish new goals for his Navy career.

2013 also brought me a new job at a non-profit organization. It has been an extraordinary challenge to adapt in this field. I am not sure if this is something I am going to continue to pursue in the new year, but it has been an experience and at least I can say that I tried it!

On the other hand, I have been doing a lot of soul-searching in the last few months and reading a lot about purpose and living an awakened life. Each day, I come to realize the importance to think about the now and what matters at this moment. My husband and I both understand the importance of gratitude for what we have and for the short time that we have here in the present. We cannot live for what happened or what is to come, but for the now. That is the biggest lesson I take with me in the new year and that I hope to be mindful of each day.

I really hope this holiday season and the new year brings all of us new opportunities to be creative, to be successful and to be prosperous.

Happy Holidays, Happy New Year and Happy Reading!!!

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The Three Kings


The other day my husband and I had a special delivery. It was a 65 inch, flat screen television, complete with 3D capabilities. New year, new T.V. and a new job which I start tomorrow!!! Anyway, I was taken back when one of the men, who delivered our T.V., mentioned that we had not taken down our Christmas tree or decorations. I did not know there was a deadline to take holiday decorations down, but we are one of those people who put their tree up way too early in the holiday season and take it down way too late. We really enjoy the holidays, minus the gift-buying craze that goes along with it, and the decorations.

This holiday season was very special to my husband and myself. He had just returned from a very long deployment overseas. We got to celebrate Thanksgiving with a very romantic turkey dinner. We got to go to Florida to see our relatives. We even managed to celebrate New Years together. After spending so many holidays and birthdays apart, it was nice to be with each other when it mattered: Celebrating Christmas!

Yet, everyone is in such a hurry to take down decorations, put away the massive amounts of gadgets, toys, and items that will not get used, that they forget about Three King’s Day. I know it is not a major holiday here in the U.S., but in the Dominican Republic it is very much a HOLIDAY. It is the day that most children actually receive gifts from The Three Kings and not Santa. Children put out grass for the Kings’ camels, water, and food items similar to the Santa Claus tradition. The Santa Claus tradition did not start until more recent times in the D.R. and it is also celebrated with the exchange of small gifts. Three Kings Day, however, is a tradition that is based on the Bible. Imagine, a holiday that is based on gift-giving and it is actually religiously based on a sacred book, and yet no one seems to remember it or know about it!  So much for us being “Wise Men”.  This is the part of the holidays that is a huge turn off for me. Christmas is no longer about being with family, socializing, gathering and exchanging love. It is not even about what it was originally meant to represent: The birth and celebration of Christ! I mean, I celebrate and admire all cultures and religions, because somewhere in the mindset of every one of us there is the interchange of love, and we are all capable of it. But we should at least try to understand why or what we are celebrating even if we do not agree with it. You do not have to be religious, or even believe in anything, to take part in exchanging good vibes or love with family and friends during the holiday season. Love is the universal “religion”. And yet, we have manged to turn the holidays into such a spectacle to see who gets more gifts, that we completely miss the mark and do not even acknowledge what it is that we are celebrating. We are quick to take down the Christmas tree and the decorations to move on to the next holiday. So quickly we move on to the next thing, that we forget about the Three Wise Men or the Three Kings, and their visitation and presentation of gifts to Jesus. Again, you do not have to be religious or a believer to appreciate the story and the meaning behind their visitation, or the meaning of the holidays for that matter. However, it is part of history, folklore and culture, and that is something that deserves honor.

So for everyone out there who still appreciates a little culture, history, meaning, and spirituality: Happy Three King’s Day and Happy Reading!!!

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How many gifts does it take to make it through Christmas?


Every year during the holidays, my husband and I make a list of gifts to buy and their recipients. Most of the recipients are children like nieces and nephews and a few cousins. We also try to set a budget so we don’t go broke or into major debt. However, each year it gets harder and harder to buy gifts. The latest gadgets and toys that most children want are very pricey, and it is difficult to be fair with everyone.

One of the things my husband and I do is not exchange gifts with adults. We decided a long time ago that Christmas is really a time to bond and share with families, but the gifts are for the little ones. We do a small gift for our parents or for whoever is hosting Christmas Eve and/or Christmas Day, and that is basically it! We also do Christmas cards for everyone else like grandparents, friends,etc…

The other thing my husband and I do is to cut off grown children, like certain 20-year-olds that should be working or attending school. This is a matter of choice of course and I am by no means telling anyone how to spend their money. But, once I was 16-17 I had a job and Santa stopped dropping gifts for me. Therefore, I do not understand why grown adults should be receiving gifts unless it is from a parent or spouse.

Although my husband and I do not have children and we try to stay within the above guidelines, I feel pressured each year to buy more and more gifts. I know that the parents of our nieces and nephews should be the ones purchasing most of the items for their children, but I still feel pressured into buying as much as the parents. Should I be feeling this way? Afterall, my nieces, nephews and the other kiddies in the family, seem to get so much for the holidays that at times it does seem excessive. So this year my husband and I opted for gift cards instead.

Also, I do not understand why children must have every single toy or item that is on their list or every item that is new on the market. As as child growing up in the Dominican Republic, I saw poverty first hand. There were times that I did not get gifts from Santa, and when I did I got maybe a nice big gift and maybe five or ten smaller ones. I remember feeling like it was a mountain of toys and feeling so happy and grateful. Never did I question how many things I should have gotten. My grandmother always made it a point that I donate what I was done using and she always dragged me to the poorest sites of the country, so that I saw first hand how other children lived. I always loved Christmas because of the trees and lights and all the donating we did at this time of the year. For me, Christmas was about being happy and with family and not so much about gifts. So for me, giving a child over 50 gifts just from the parents alone is a little much. So we only do one or two gifts per child, and yet I still feel like it is not enough or we are not doing enough.

I am not sure what my husband and I will do when we decide to have our own children, but I do know that I would like my children to be grateful for everything that they have. There will be trips to GoodWill and The Salvation Army to give donations, and I guess most of  Santa’s list will be covered as well 🙂

Happy Reading!!! 

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A real tree for Christmas


My husband and I have made the very difficult decision (NOT!), to go to Florida for the holidays. We have spent our Christmas holiday these past few years in New Jersey, with both of our families. This year we have decided to spend the holidays with my husband’s sister and stepfather out in Florida. We are actually very excited about it, since my husband has not been back to his home state (home as in FL) for several years. Sorry if this is confusing!

As you may have noticed, my husband is from NJ and FL. I am originally from NJ and the military has brought us here to Virginia. We are happy to finally be spending time with his stepfather. Besides it would be pretty awesome to be in sunny Florida for the holidays 🙂  My husband, sister-in-law, stepfather-in-law, his wife, and my mother-in-law will be there. They are pretty laid back people and that is what I am looking forward to the most…A laid back Christmas. All of them enjoy cooking so that saves me the headache to get into a kitchen. I can just do what I do best…Cleaning duty!

Since we are not going to be in good old VA or NJ for the holidays, my husband and I decided not to decorate or get a Christmas tree. We figured no one would be coming over and we are leaving to enjoy some much-needed sunny weather. Of course that decision did not last long, when we went to Wal-Mart and the Christmas trees were lined up at the front of the store. Once we were in the store, the holiday music, the sales, and the holiday cards caught our attention. We could not help ourselves and caved. Not only did we buy holiday cards, gift card holders, and a poinsettia for our dinning room, we also managed to score a gorgeous real tree and wreath. The smell in my home is amazing. This is our first real tree and real wreath, and I do not think I could go fake ever again! The warm feeling that having a real tree brings, only a real Christmas fan like we are could understand and appreciate. I also felt bad that my husband was deployed all those months and would not be able to enjoy a Christmas tree at his own home. It is his favorite holiday after all…So we just got the tree and decorated it for ourselves to enjoy 🙂

I truly hope that this Holiday Season is everything my husband wants it to be. He served our country all those months in a never-ending deployment, and he truly deserves it. I also hope that all of you have a wonderful and peaceful holiday season as well.

Happy Reading!!!!

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Drowning


Last night I dreamed I was drowning. It was quite scary I must admit. I was near a beautiful lake surrounded by mountains and rocks. In the middle of the mountains was this small lake that seemed very shallow. As I attempted to cross it to meet someone on the other side, I suddenly fell into the deep part of the lake and started to drown. It was very sudden and I had no warning that the deep part of the lake was one step ahead of me. I tried to kick and use my arms to save myself, and eventually I managed to reach the surface. I survived!

Funny enough, that dream is exactly how I feel today. Thus far, I have survived a terrible year of many ups and downs, moving, my husband’s deployment, not-so-friendly people, false starts, family issues, getting my Masters Degree, illness, a snake in my apartment, fleas on my poor dog….And yet I am still here. Somehow I will get across that lake and hopefully I will climb one of the mountains in my dream. Unfortunately, it is just not my time yet and I need to exercise patience and gratitude. Each day is a new day to start again and do things better, and that is all I can ask for.

Holidays are also like a lake that is waiting to be crossed: you are either going to drown or swim and cross over. Each year my husband and I try our best to think of everyone and buy gifts for most. But each year the budget gets smaller and smaller, and it is so hard to make everyone happy. How does one determine when enough is enough, or if one gift will suffice  for one person instead of twenty gifts? I know we will get through it like every year, but I just don’t know how families on a limited income are expected to buy and give more and more each year. Holidays are not even suppose to be about gifts, so when did it become this buy or die situation?

On the other hand, one of my favorite holidays is coming up soon…Thanksgiving. You are not expected to buy gifts for this holiday, but there is a lot of eating and cooking to do. How often do we forget to actually give “Thanks”? Many of us should be thankful to be alive, especially for those of us on the East Coast that survived hurricane Sandy. For those of us that were ok and did not lose power or got flooded, we crossed that devious lake from my dream with no issues. We made it one more day! Isn’t that enough to give thanks and be grateful?

Happy Reading!!!  🙂

 

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Good Riddance Holiday Season!


The holidays are almost over and we almost survived.

I wish I could start this blog with great news, but a series of unfortunate events occurred, and I must say I am so happy this year is almost gone!!!

The only good news I have is that I passed that incredibly difficult class I was taking(C++ programming). I do not recommend anyone taking this class, by the way.

Other than that, our holiday was spent on the road driving from house to house. This is the norm for most military families not stationed near relatives. I am sure many other military wives, like me, are complaining about the same thing. In addition to that, we were supposed to have stayed with my parents for a week before the new year, but a dear relative of mine decided to argue with myself and my husband, so we left the day after christmas. Of course the argument was stupid and had nothing to do with us. But, this led to more driving. We were now obligated to commute from PA to NJ almost daily to visit family. Had we stayed with my parents, who live in NJ, maybe all the driving we did would had not been so bad.

So now, we are not only exhausted from driving back and forth from state to state, we also feeling emotionally drained and uncomfortable seeing my folks. Oh, and I also forgot to mention that we also have been packing in between all of this, because we are moving in seven days to another state. I am also trying to do all of this with a bad cold!

But besides all of this, I feel terrible that I could not give my husband the holiday he deserves before his deployment. All I can do is  push along and wait for the new year.  I will try my best to make these few weeks special for him and get a list of items he may want while he is gone. Maybe get some comfort items he misses when he is deployed, or even some movies he may want to take with him. If you are a military spouse then you know what care packages are and what they mean to your significant other 🙂

 

Hopefully by the time he returns from his deployment, we will have better plans for the next holiday season so they are not so stressful and uncomfortable.

In the meantime, let us toast for a better new year  folks…HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL!!!!

 

Happy Reading!!! 

 

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IT’S MATING SEASON!!!


I have been having very strange dreams about being pregnant. Of course that is impossible since…Well take my word for it. But, things have gotten a little “twilight zone” for me lately. My husband told me recently that he had a dream I was pregnant as well. Then my best friend called and said she had a dream I was pregnant. Then my mother called….you guessed it!!! She dreamed I was pregnant. WHAT IS GOING ON? 

Well, it may be my level of stress that people are reading into and having dreams about. It seems no matter how hard I crank the books, I cannot get this one particular course. At this point I just want to pass the class, but even this seems like an impossibility.

So as it turns out, these dreams myself and those around me are experiencing of me being pregnant, are actually about other people who are pregnant, and definitely not me being pregnant.

Funny enough though, everyone around me is now pregnant!!!! 

Now my best friend, sister-in-law, cousin, another cousin, a friend, two high school friends, and God only knows how many others out there are PREGGERS!!! 

Seems like many of us were busy this summer!!! LOL

On another note, it is Dec. 1rst. Let the Holiday Season and not the Mating Season Begin!!!! 

Happy Reading!!!!

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